Dreyer was not an unwavering formalist; he did not define a single style throughout his career….
Each of Dreyer's individual film "styles" is, to be more accurate, a synthesis between three basic and opposing styles at work in his films. In his study of Dreyer, Claude Perrin notes two of these opposing forces. "In order to define Dreyer's aesthetic," he writes, "one must confront two opposing artistic schools: the Kammerspiel and expressionism." Perrin goes on to demonstrate how the tension between these "schools" underlies all of Dreyer's work. This tension, to be sure, is integral to Dreyer's films, but, it seems to me, it is unable to account for that peculiar, "spiritual" quality Perrin...
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